It recently occurred to me that I was in desperate need of a new commuter bag, it had been some years since I purchased my current over the shoulder affair and it has come to my attention that it has some less than desirable features including a small rip and a general worn-out look. Thus starts my journey through the process of selecting a new bag, it could be a long one so bear with me – it took me a year to decide on the Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere 45 in Monogram Macassar Canvas.
We’ll start by looking at what’s available online, and take those selections to the store to feel and touch the materials. I am particularly fond of a leather with a bit of texture and a deep dark brown or black colour. Hardware is also very important, it mustn’t be too flashy or clunky and it’s very necessary that it be highly functional.
Find a bag of appropriate size and weight that it may be used on a daily basis, mostly to ferry small food items to and from work with the occasional laptop or Chromebook. This means that it must be able to fit between two and three of my reusable containers used for food and if needed, carry my MacBook Pro or my Chromebook. Must include a shoulder strap and handles will be ideal but not required.
Briefcase in Embossed Calfskin by Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo has produced this lovely bag for the season and is [according to the woman at my local store] limited, and she only had one left, and it is part of a seasonal collection. It’s unique dark green with blue strap make it an eye-catching combination. The simple square metallic hardware is basic and to the point without any fuss and is functional before decorative. The interior is made of a durable and soft cloth that one needn’t worry about tossing bits and pieces of life into with an adequate amount of useful and appropriately placed pockets.
Porte-Documents Voyage GM & Porte-Ducuemts Business by Louis Vuitton
Porte-Documents Voyage GM This bag is the same print and color scheme as my larger Keepall, shown below with a black fabric strap. In this case it’s more useful as a daily bag as it’s only as large as a laptop and the depth of the bag allows for carrying things like food, snacks and your sunglasses. The only hindrance here is the price tag, while it’s not unreasonable to spend this much on this bag especially given it will be used pretty much every day, it’s still a hurdle to leap over.
Porte-Documents Business Shown below in Damier Cobalt Blue with a black leather strap this bag is slightly smaller than the Voyage GM and has the leather strap which I actually prefer, it just feels more special.
Bleeker Commuter in Pebbled Leather by Coach
Coach offers a wonderful array of men’s bags including a fine selection of briefcase sorts including this Bleeker Commuter bag. The commuter is slightly larger in width than the Slim Brief which is available in several more colours and fabrics. The Bleeker comes in black and saddle (brown) in with the pebbled leather as well as normal leather.
I’d like to want this bag more as it’s a good size and I really enjoy the way it looks, however, Coach has gone and done something that in my opinion is terrible – they’ve split the bag into two distinct portions creating two slender compartments, making it ideal for a laptop or documents but useless for large items such as a sunglasses case or a small container of snacks.
Signature Grain Leather Briefcase by Burberry
Available in black and dark chino this versatile and modestly sized bag offers good versatility and who can say no to that gorgeous subtle and soft grain leather.
Briefcase by Prada
Grained calf leather in camouflage+black or pure black. This simple bag says so many things without saying anything at all.
Tabac Leather Briefcase by Dior
In a variety of colours and even some textures, this simple and elegant design offers a classic bag that will easily do anything and everything requested of it.
Medium Document Holder by TOD’S
The slightly stiff leather of this bag means it will hold it’s shaped nicely and the textured leather while similar to others is unique to TOD’S. I appreciate the leather strap and the hardware has been kept to a minimum to create a simple easy going look.
Parabellum has this bag and many other gorgeous objects of desire in a plethora of wonderful colors. While I love the color and the texture I have reservations regarding the overdone hardware embellishments surrounding the hand straps, it almost feels bit too western for me. The contrasting stitching on the other hand in the same place is wonderful.
Sadly I know not of any retailer where I live that I can go and play with this bag so on that account it will likely be left out of the final rounds when the time comes to make a decision.
Matthew 24 Hour Bag by Mulberry
The esthetics of this bag go too far in my opinion, it appears as though it was designed for a German scientist working on a secret project, except it would then need to be black. Don’t get me wrong, the bag is gorgeous, but a bit too plain for my liking, this extends to the lines and the shape not just the form.
Fulton Leather Darrow Brief by Jack Spade
Simple elegance an contemporary design take precedence with this casual yet sophisticated brief by Jack Spade. The zipper goes from one side to the other extending all the way down the wide of the bag allowing easy access to the items within while keeping them in place with the clever fabric band at the edges. Capable of holding a 15-inch laptop and structured to stand on its own this bag is an excellent daily commuter. Available in tobacco and black and if this is too big (it’s perfect for me) there are slimmer versions and an entire collection of gorgeous functional bags available from Jack Spade.
After some careful consideration and testing the short list has been reduced to just three options. And I am sad to say at this point none have been purchased. I am most in love with the Porte-Documents Business from Louis Vuitton, it’s the perfect size and I love how it’s made, sadly it only comes in Damier Cobalt canvas as of right now and I don’t love that print. Upon visiting the Louis Vuitton Store in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver I was informed that the new summer collection is coming out shortly, I am awaiting it’s arrival before making any rash decisions. This likely means that the Salvatore Ferragamo in green and black will be gone by the time I decide but I guess that means I just don’t love it as much.
- Jack Spade Fulton Leather Darrow Brief
- Louis Vuitton Porte-Documents Business (currently only in Damier Cobalt canvas)
- Salvatore Ferragamo Embossed Calfskin Briefcase in Green/Blue
To be continued…